Rev. Mark K. Richardson,
Rev. Mark Kevin Richardson was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He is the son of Harrison and Josephine Richardson. He is a first generation Church of God member, and minister, having grown up in the Catholic Church. He was educated in Akron through graduation from Archbishop Hoban High School. He attended Mount Union College, in Alliance, Ohio, graduating in 1979, with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, with a minor in Communications. Upon graduation, he worked for the IBM Corporation, from 1979 through 1983. He came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ under the ministry of Rev. Dr. Ronald J. Fowler, of the Arlington Church of God, in Akron, Ohio, in 1982. He experienced the call on his life for Pastoral Ministry in late 1983, and began the process of preparation for ministry immediately. After a brief time of study at the Anderson University School of Theology, Rev. Mark returned to Akron to develop in ministry while returning to work in the computer industry for Digital Equipment Corporation. In September of 1984 he married the love of his life, Sharon. They have two children whom they consider great blessings from God, Anna and Joshua, and one grandchild, Akhil.
While working in the computer industry from 1985 through 1997, Rev. Richardson developed in ministry, as a lay minister, under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dr. Ronald J. Fowler in Akron. When his job required relocation to Maryland, from 1989 through 1991, he continued to develop as a lay minister under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Marc Farmer, of the Oakland Mills Church of God in Columbia, MD. Upon his relocation back to Akron in 1992, he resumed his development under Rev. Fowler. Rev, Richardson was ordained in 1994, at the Arlington Church of God. In 1996 he answered the call to his first pastorate, the Lincoln Avenue Church of God in Pittsburgh, PA, where he was the Senior Pastor until July 2002. In 2002 he became the founding Pastor of the New Life Church of God, in Penn Hills, PA, a thriving congregation reaching into the eastern suburbs of greater Pittsburgh. In May 2008, the New Life Church of God congregation moved to the Greenfield section of the City of Pittsburgh. During his time in western Pennsylvania, he has served in the state ministry, under the leadership of Rev. Vern Allison, as a member, and chair, of the Credentialing Services Team, and is currently the Team Leader of the Church Health Team under the leadership of Rev. Rebecca New-Edson, Director of Ministries for Western Pennsylvania Ministries of the Church of God. Rev. Richardson has a great passion for preaching and teaching God’s Word, which he has had the privilege of doing in many pulpits across the country, and at several state camp meetings.
Rev. Chris N. Goodwin,
Associate Pastor (Family Ministries)
Rev. Chris N. Goodwin was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is a first generation Church of God member, and minister, having grown up in Central Baptist Church. He was educated in the Pittsburgh School System. He attended Dean Tech. to further his education for six months then transferred and completed four years of Electrical Apprenticeship Training through IBEW Local Union #5. Upon graduation, he worked for 32 years as a Journeyman Wireman until retirement in 2002. He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ under the ministry of Rev. Leonard E. Roache’, Pastor Emeritus of the Lincoln Avenue Church of God, in 1989. His call into the ministry was prophesy by Pastor Dr. Robert Culp, Toledo, Ohio in 1995 during a revival at the Lincoln Avenue Church of God. The preparation process for ministry began in 1996 under the mentorship of Senior Pastor Leonard E. Roache’ and continued under the leadership of Pastor Emeritus Dr. Charles Pleasant upon Pastor Roaches’ retirement and completed under the leadership of Pastor Mark K. Richardson. He graduated from the Institute for Servant Leadership, in March 2000 under the auspices of Anderson Church of God; also broadened his training through enrollment at the Willa Kay Moody Bible College for four years. Rev. Goodwin was ordained on October 9, 2000, at Lincoln Avenue Church of God.
He was the Head Usher at the Lincoln Avenue Church of God from 1989 until 1995. He was the Key Contact Person for the Prison Ministry at Allegheny County Jail from 1995 until 2005. He was one of four recipients to receive the year 2000 outstanding ministry award at the Allegheny County Jail Chaplaincy Awards Ceremony. He was also honored with the opportunity to be the Keynote speaker at the National Men’s Conference of the Church of God, in May of 2000. In 2002, he accepted the position of Associate Pastor where he oversees the Family Ministries at the New Life Church of God under Mark k. Richardson Senior Pastor. Rev. Goodwin is married to his soul mate Rev. Sharon Goodwin for 29 years and resides in the Penn Hills area. He is the proud father of two grown sons and three grandchildren. He has a passion for the downtrodden and despair and preaches in Allegheny County Jail and throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Rev. Marva L. Brockinson,
Associate Pastor (Worship Arts Ministries)
Rev. Marva Brockinson has been a member of the Church of God since her acceptance of Christ at age 18. She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and eventually moved with her young family to Pittsburgh. She and her children became actively involved members of the Lincoln Avenue Church of God. The Lord placed a call on her life in the early 70’s and she was licensed under the auspices of the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana in 1977 and 78. A major highlight in her life was eventually being ordained by the Church of God on Sunday, September 20, 1998 at Lincoln Avenue Church of God. Then on May 21, 2006 she was commissioned as an Associate Pastor of the New Life Church of God. Pastor Marva presently heads up the WORSHIP MINISTRIES of the New Life Church of God. There are many branches of this ministry, whose team leaders are faithful to their assignments and continually seek the mind and heart of God to be the best in service for Him. Her desire is to see all people and things in place here at New Life as we become a center of Prayer, Praise and Worship. A 24-7 ministry bringing healing to the body of Christ, as well as those who have never come into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord! As of now God has highlighted and ignited “prayer” as the most important and powerful tool that we possess as a church. Prayer coupled with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit will take us where we need to be, in order for us to be a viable Church! Over the course of her walk with the Lord, she has been a member of other ministries. The two that impacted her life was New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. And the other was Greater Works Outreach in Monroeville, PA. Both of these experiences she believes were purposed by God and taught her the basic principles of truly seeking to be a servant for the Lord. But no matter where she went the Lord always returned her to the ministry of the Church of God.
Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Dr. Charles R. Pleasant
October 1, 1925 – March 9, 2014
In March we said goodbye to one of the founding Pastors of New Life Church of God, Pastor Pleasant. Along with Senior Pastor Mark K. Richardson and Associate Pastor Chris Goodwin, Pastor Pleasant worked tirelessly to help structure and start our congregation in 2002. He was a great man, wise, knowledgeable, and skilled in many areas. He had a long career as an educator, teaching at the University of Pittsburgh, and CCAC Boyce Campus. He has the distinction of being one of the first African-American Treasury Agents in the United States. He served as an Associate Pastor and Interim Pastor at the Lincoln Avenue Church of God for over four decades, prior to becoming an Associate Pastor and ultimately Pastor Emeritus of New Life Church of God. He had a heart for people, an ear for music, a passion for education, and a burden for people to embrace the love of God. Many people benefitted from his wise counsel, mentoring, and encouragement. This includes family members, church members, ministers, educators, and church leaders near and far. He was a great blessing and asset to New Life Church of God. With all that he accomplished in his life, right behind his commitment to the Lord was his love and commitment to his family. He was married to Deaconess Grace Pleasant for nearly 68 years. He was blessed with a rich family heritage of 7 children, 14 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. His warm smile, infectious laugh, ministry of presence, and demonstrated message of love are greatly missed by us all.
The following is inscribed on his commemorative plaque in the entryway of our church building:
”Rev. Dr. Charles R. Pleasant was a man who loved much. He especially loved his bride, Deaconess Grace Pleasant. He was also a loving father as well as a father to many. He was a professor at both the University of Pittsburgh and Community College of Allegheny County, Boyce Campus, where he assumed the role of Dean of Students. He was Associate Pastor for several years at both Lincoln Avenue Church of God and New Life Church of God. After he retired as Pastor Emeritus, you could find him still teaching Sunday School, mentoring or counseling. If you had a question about anything, he could easily give you an answer. He lived the love scriptures, and one of his favorites was 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: ‘Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself; is not puffed up; does not behave rudely; does not seek its own; is not provoked; thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquities, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things; believes all things; hopes all things; endures all things.’”